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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. J. Moulinié   5 November 1869


5th Novr. 1869.

Dear sir,

On receipt of your letter,1 I wrote to Mr. Reinwald, my french publisher, to inform him of the future publication of your new work, and at the same time to have his opinion on the question about the possibility of a new translation correct and complete of the last edition of the “Origin of species.”2 On the first point, he is quite disposed to publish the translation of your work on Man, as soon as it will be ready.3 On the second, Mr. Reinwald would most gladly undertake also a fresh edition of the translation of the Origin, in the conditions that you desire, and with your consent, and believes that you have all rights to do so, “if you have not already formally transferred to another publisher, the right of translation for subsequent editions.”

He adds besides, that desirous to act with moderation and out of consideration for the interests of the first publisher and translator of the Origin, he is ready,—on an explicit authorisation of yours, to publish a new translation of the last english edition,4—to propose to them some reasonable transaction, and obtain their desistance of the rights they might possibly have. In case of refusal on their part, concludes Mr. Reinwald, he would proceed without hesitation, convinced that a thoroughly new translation, better than the former and containing the last corrections, would certainly be successfull, and supersede the others.

With such good dispositions, on the part of Mr. Reinwald, I hope that all material obstacles if any, may be removed, and will then, as far as it concerns me, most gladly contribute to the realization of your wish, in undertaking the translation of the “Origin”, which you so kindly propose to me.5

My best regards to Mrs Darwin and family, and believe me, dear Sir, your’s grateful and truly devoted | J. J. Moulinié

P.S. Mr. Reinwald’s direction is the following:6

CD annotations

2.4 to propose … have. 2.5] scored pencil
Top of letter: ‘A fr address’ pencil


The references are to Charles-Ferdinand Reinwald, Descent, and the fifth edition of Origin.
Descent was published in 1871, and Moulinié’s translation in 1872 (Moulinié trans. 1872).
See letter to J. J. Moulinié, 23 October [1869]. Victor Masson and the publishing house of Guillaumin et cie had published Clémence Auguste Royer’s first two French editions of Origin (Royer, trans. 1862 and 1866); a third edition was being published by Masson alone without the additions from the fourth and fifth English editions (Royer, trans. 1870).
Moulinié’s translation of Origin was published in 1873 by Reinwald (Moulinié trans. 1873).
Reinwald’s address in Paris was 15 Rue Des Saints-Pères (letter from C.-F. Reinwald, 13 November 1869).


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

Royer, Clémence Auguste, trans. 1862. De l’origine des espèces ou des lois du progrès chez les êtres organisés. By Charles Darwin. With preface and notes by the translator. [Translated from the 3d English edition.] Paris: Guillaumin & Cie; Victor Masson.

Royer, Clémence Auguste, trans. 1870. De l’origine des espèces par sélection naturelle ou des lois de transformation des êtres organisés. By Charles Darwin. With preface and notes by the translator. 3d edition. Paris: V. Masson et fils.


Reinwald will be pleased to publish Descent.

He would also like to publish a Moulinié translation of the latest English edition of Origin. Negotiations with the old publisher are needed.

Letter details

Letter no.
Jean Jacques Moulinié
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 171: 274
Physical description
ALS 2pp † inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6971,” accessed on 20 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17